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Legolas_Katarn

Websites and magazines blacklisted by Developers/Publishers

20 posts in this topic

A Price Of Games Journalism

 

For the past two years, Kotaku has been blacklisted by Bethesda, the publisher of the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. For the past year, we have also been, to a lesser degree, ostracized by Ubisoft, publisher of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and more.

 

In those periods of time, the PR and marketing wings of those two gaming giants have chosen to act as if Kotaku doesn’t exist. They’ve cut off our access to their games and creators, omitted us from their widespread mailings of early review copies and, most galling, ignored all of our requests for comment on any news stories.

 

It is interesting how often this tends to happen, and can make you wonder what other websites or magazines are blacklisted and by what companies for what reasons, though Kotaku's blacklists at least aren't related to negative reviews or coverage. Jim Sterling has mentioned Konami doing the same when he was at Destructoid over review scores. I saw someone mention that he was blacklisted by Sega while editing a magazine about Sega.

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So apart from making himself sound like an asshole and making some terrible and irrelevent analogies, his one-two minutes of relevence to the thing he titles his video after is him saying that they had the right to write about the information they did but they should have known they were biting the hand that feeds them. Yeah? That's a really bad thing that games media is expected to and often has to work like that, even more so when companies can so easily blacklist over things like negative coverage, that's pretty much the enitire problem with websites, magazines, youtubers, and made worse by consumers that support nothing but publisher bottom lines. I don't know how someone can make a 12 minute video on something like that without actually saying anything.

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lol, Kotaku of all people complaining about blacklisting

 

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Also, Matt has a point about Kotaku. When you publish leaked information you should be well aware of the consequences that come with it and be prepared to accept them, otherwise don't do it.

 

Konami blacklisting Jim Sterling and Destructoid for calling out their general incompetence and terrible miscommunications in 2011-2012 and for giving their games low scores is an entirely different matter.

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Soooo...Kotaku did a bad by publishing leaks and they're complaining about being blacklisted, while also needlessly blacklisting Boogie2988...

 

While Konami needlessly blacklisted Jim Fucking Sterling Son and Destructoid because they called out their bullshit and miscommunication, along with them becoming a total shithead of a company later down the line...

 

One of these things is not like the other, but at the same time, they kinda are. :/

DestinyDecade likes this

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lol, Kotaku of all people complaining about blacklisting

A publication not dealing with a youtuber is an enitrely different thing, they have no real reason to even have a relationship. ...I don't even know what that would mean or how that would effect either of them, unless the publication was paying a youtuber as a freelance reviewer or someone to help find things for them to report on.

 

Kotaku did a bad by publishing leaks

Not really since reporting on news related to the games industry is their job, not a logical situation to attempt to appear as the bastion of hard hitting news, certainly not when compared to reasons other publications and people have said they have been blacklisted over since the publication of the article. There's nothing wrong with Bethesda and Ubisoft blacklisting them over it either, apart from it being kind of petty and pointless, and probably only negatively effecting them in the long run. People saying that reporting on something in a way a publisher/dev/pr team/etc wouldn't like is bad because it is biting the hand that feeds them and to only report on PR approved stories, is a really bad way for the industry to work.

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Journalists are just as capable of slander and crooked promotion as game publishers are of false advertising or in some way manipulating people into buying games that aren't up to snuff. Werther who's right or wrong in these situations when they come up it changes each time and can't really be genrealised and who are we on the outside to decide what's really going on?. Either way, I say blacklisting isn't the way to handle it as it only hurts them in the long run nor do I consider flapping ones gums about on a web publication and/or social media to be much better. Corruption and unfair slander is something shouldn't happen and shouldn't be tolerated by people but there has got to be better ways to handle it. That is assuming that the complaint is genuine.

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A publication not dealing with a youtuber is an enitrely different thing, they have no real reason to even have a relationship. ...I don't even know what that would mean or how that would effect either of them, unless the publication was paying a youtuber as a freelance reviewer or someone to help find things for them to report on.

 

Not really since reporting on news related to the games industry is their job, not a logical situation to attempt to appear as the bastion of hard hitting news, certainly not when compared to reasons other publications and people have said they have been blacklisted over since the publication of the article. There's nothing wrong with Bethesda and Ubisoft blacklisting them over it either, apart from it being kind of petty and pointless, and probably only negatively effecting them in the long run. People saying that reporting on something in a way a publisher/dev/pr team/etc wouldn't like is bad because it is biting the hand that feeds them, is a really bad way for the industry to look at it though.

Hey, I hate being on the side of the publisher in this issue but every gaming journalist knows that even if you aren't bound by an NDA, spoiling future releases is a big no-no and it will most likely get you blacklisted by the devs and publishers. Kotaku knew this and yet they decided to leak Fallout 4 and ACS and got blacklisted by Bethesda and Ubisoft as a result.

 

As I said when you knowingly leak information you must be prepared to face the consequences.

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Journalists are just as capable of slander and crooked promotion as game publishers are of false advertising or in some way manipulating people into buying games that aren't up to snuff. Corruption and unfair slander is something shouldn't happen and shouldn't be tolerated by people but there has got to be better ways to handle it. That is assuming that the complaint is genuine.

I'm not really sure how slander and crooked promotions relate to this article but the reaction of some people who are happy about them being blacklisted or who think that doing things the PR team doesn't like is biting the hand that feeds them is what helps lead to crooked promotions. It's one of the reasons why we so rarely see well written critical reviews and instead get things that read like a press release, why 7 has somehow became the score that means "average", and why you have people like Rooster Teeth doing paid promtional videos for Bethesda complaining about Giant Bomb for calling out technical problems with Fallout 4 and giving it a 4/5.

 

Hey, I hate being on the side of the publisher in this issue but every gaming journalist knows that even if you aren't bound by an NDA, spoiling future releases is a big no-no and it will most likely get you blacklisted by the devs and publishers. Kotaku knew this and yet they decided to leak Fallout 4 and ACS and got blacklisted by Bethesda and Ubisoft as a result.

As I said, I don't think them blacklisting them over this is a problem (unlike when it is done over review scores or a person mentioning they don't like something a company is doing), I don't think it's a good business decision and I think it just hurts them in the long run but whatever. I was more interested in the story as it lead to some other people mentioning how they have been blacklisted while working for sites or magazines for saying things or giving scores people didn't like. However, it's very odd to see so many people reacting to people getting blacklisted as a good thing that they deserve, to see consumers say that publication/youtubers should just tow the line.

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However, it's very odd to see so many people reacting to people getting blacklisted as a good thing that they deserve, to see consumers say that publication/youtubers should just tow the line.

Probably because they see it as Kotaku bringing it on themselves by breaking a trust-based relationship. As a game yournalist you trust the publisher to give you sneak peaks and early access whenever there is a big game coming and the publisher trusts you not to run your mouth about it at the first chance. If you go out of your way to show that you can't be trusted, then don't come crying when publishers say they won't be giving you exclusive access anymore.

 

Comparing Kotaku with people getting blacklisted for actually bullshit reasons seems frankly disengenuous to me.

Mr. Molotov likes this

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I have no idea what that video is supposed to convey Meat, I still haven't seen anyone answer how a youtuber can be blacklisted by a website, how that would effect him, and how that's even remotely comparable as the two typically wouldn't even be parties that share information or work together. I don't why that video is claiming that being objective is a good thing, that's a terrible thing to try to be and impossible in almost all cases and doesn't seem to be relevent to anything relating to this or even relevatent to any of the quotes show in the video. Unless the video creator is equating them saying "truth", as in reporting on the existence of Bethesda/Ubisofts games and not lying about anything relating to them, to meaning that they believe that everything that they have ever said about anything is an objective fact agreed upon by every person in the world, which is disingenuous of the creator at best. Kotaku has been blacklisted by them for 1-2 years, and apparently they are barely effected by it, in addition to just looking petty that anyone would be happy about this, cheering about something that barely effects them (and that frequently happens to others) is just embaressing. It would be like if I saw someone I didn't like drop a quarter that ended up rolling down the gutter and I started jumping for joy yelling, "Yeah, that's what you get! Your time has come!" Only doing it two years later.

 

Even Boogie has said he doesn't want to be used in this way.

 

As a game yournalist you trust the publisher to give you sneak peaks and early access whenever there is a big game coming and the publisher trusts you not to run your mouth about it at the first chance

That's not really true, as there is no agreement in place for either party to do either of those things, and discovering and releasing factual information that you are under no agreement to keep secret would actually be one of the few times that a mainstream video game related site could be considered as doing journalism and working for a story, as apposed to copy pasting the same approved PR release sent to everyone at the same time. One of the negatives of being blacklisted is the company refusing to comment on stories about them, which makes it more difficult to report on actual stories or to get the companies side of things which could lead to less detailed stories and could make the company look even worse, any outlet capable of producing good content (such as the ones I link to in my signature) should not be relying on PR releases.

 

Seeing as I don't care about Kotaku compared to a discussion about media blacklisting, whether people agree with him or not, here's Jim actually saying things about the subject in a shorter time frame than Matt, who spent 10 minutes acting like a petulant child and saying next to nothing.

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That's not really true, as there is no agreement in place for either party to do either of those things

Of course it's not an explicit agreement, but when you show that you can't keep your mouth shut, how can you expect publishers to give you early/exclusive access to any of their stuff?

 

As I said, when you get you are about to release leaked information you should always weight the short term benefits with the long term consequences. Kotaku did so and decided that getting a the getting clicks from a couple of articles spoiling big reveals was worth enough to risk pissing off Bethesda and Ubisoft and not getting any free review copies, early access and exclusive interviews from them.

 

And, while calling any of the assclowns at Kotaku "journalists" is quite a stretch, that's how journalism works. Totillo needs to seriously put his big boy pants and stop crying about things he brought on himself.

Edited by Mexiguy

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In theory, this is a little worrisome, but in practice, fuck Kotaku. They're the main reason you have to put quotes around "game journalist" so as not to offend the real journalists out there.

I also disagree with the notion of this hurting the publishers in the long run. We are so interconnected now, its not like game companies are relying on magazines to get the word out about upcoming games like they were 10-15 years ago. Cutting out a single "publication" like Kotaku does absolutely nothing to their PR cycle. Cutting out every publication would have a slightly bigger effect, but they could still put out word on twitter and facebook and get millions of views with very little effort. Let's also not forget that for every one "game journalist," there are a hundred smaller youtubers who are more than willing to do a happy little paid promotion video (-cough-Joe-cough-) for their slice of youtube viewership.

In summary: Fuck Kotaku. I don't know if I made that clear.

Mr_E_Meatshield likes this

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Man this whole gamergate/game journalism is waaay over my head, and to be honest I dont even want to wrap my head around it.

But last time I checked game journalism were about passion for games, not controversial stuff.

I think people are taking games journalism way too serious when its not meant to be.

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I think a good deal of the reason people are 'cheering' that kotaku got blacklisted is that people want kotaku to be on an 'equal playing ground' with the smaller and newer gaming sites like nichegamer and techraptor, which as I understand it (Thought I could be wrong), are not given the same privileges as kotaku expects...and they ARE privileges.

Mr_E_Meatshield likes this

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Man this whole gamergate/game journalism is waaay over my head, and to be honest I dont even want to wrap my head around it.

But last time I checked game journalism were about passion for games, not controversial stuff.

I think people are taking games journalism way too serious when its not meant to be.

It's not really about gamergate, it's just about a clickbait "news" site pissing off both publishers and a large portion of gamers and ending up getting shunned both by publishers and said gamers.

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